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Government urged to protect NZ's GE-Free advantage in the CPTPP

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Government has begun renegotiating a new version of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The negotiations have not revealed whether New Zealand will be forced to relax its GE-Free status in the new trade deal. Our GE Free conditions were being negotiated away as they were seen as barriers for trade in the original TPP deals.

"New Zealand's government must not be forced into releasing GMO’s in the environment or to lift it’s "zero" tolerance for GE seed in imported stocks," said Jon Carapiet, national spokesman for GE-Free NZ. [1]

South Australia has just extended its GMO moratorium, which was due to expire on 1 September 2019, for another seven years, until 2025.

South Australia and Tasmania now each have a moratorium on the commercial release of GM food crops. [2]

"New Zealand must not lose its market advantage or compromise our biosecurity or consumer protection in the revised trade deal," said Jon Carapiet.

"The use of GMOs in some Australian states shows the downsides of lost export opportunities and farmer incomes that can result."

Three states in Australia (Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales) grow GM canola, of which some meal is imported into NZ as unlabelled Canola oil and meal for animal feed. [3]

Australia produces around 3 million tonnes of canola per year. Over the last few years GM canola has suffered yield, quality, and price fluctuations that have not affected non-GM canola. Among international exports, non-GM canola has fetched an average yield premium of $45 - $70 NZD per metric tonne. [4]

New Zealand farmers have shown the world that they can farm without GMO’s and produce high quality foods discerning consumers are demanding. This has been recognized and protected by many local and regional councils across New Zealand.

The Government must not sacrifice New Zealand’s GE-free status in its negotiations over the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

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